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  MSNBC    Up W Chris Hayes    News/Business. Smart  
   conversation on news of the day. New.  

    November 17, 2012
    5:00 - 7:00am PST  

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re on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know. good morning from new york. i'm chris hayes. israeli rockets continued to strike gaza early this morning as the bloody conflict between israeli forces and palestinian militants entered its fourth day. after testimony yesterday by former cia director general david petraeus, senate majority leader harry reid has said he will not convene a special panel to investigate the attacks on the u.s. consulate in benghazi in september. we will be talking about both those stories in-depth on tomorrow's show. but right now i am joined by george gale, executive director of nation people's actions, which advocates for racial and economic justice, heather mcgee, vice president of the
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progressive think tank, new york democratic congressman and friend of the show jerry mather and msnbc contributor joy reed, managing editor of thegrio.com. on a conference call with donors this week, portions of which were posted online by abc news mitt romney blamed his loss to president obama on what he calls gifts the president had given to core democratic constituencies like students, women, and latinos. >> what the president -- the president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote. >> just note that, you know, doesn't actually cost any money but side point. romney's framing of the president's campaign strategy is, of course, offensive but it is also not entirely inaccurate. the president did, indeed, deliver on some of the major policy priorities of those core democratic constituencies.
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mandatory insurance coverage for birth control, making student loans more affordable, and deferring action, as i said on young, undocumented immigrants among other things. romney calls those gifts, and in many cases a majority of americans would call them good policy. what republicans seem to be picking up on is key components of the president's coalition exerted considerable leverage over the white house during the presidential campaign. know as we enter the fight over what i and some others are calling the fiscal curve the combination of tax increases and spending cuts set to start on january 1st, the question is will the left retain any of that leverage over the president, or has it disappeared? on tuesday, a group of union leaders and progressive organizers met with president obama at the white house. lee saunders, president of asfcme, the american federation of state, court and municipality state county and municipal employees said the coalition that re-elected president obama would remain intact to pressure lawmakers during the standoff over the fiscal curve. >> what we're going to do is
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keep our members mobilized and organized in certain communities across the country. we're going to another campaign, we won the election but we're going into another campaign now. >> for his part president obama reiterated on wednesday the election had delivered a clear verdict on the question of whether taxes should be raised on income over $250,000. >> if there was one thing that everybody understood it was a big difference between myself and mr. romney it was when it comes to how we reduce our deficit i argued for a polled, responsible approach, and part of that included make sure the wealthiest americans pay a little bit more. i think every voter out there understood that that was an important debate. and the majority of voters agreed with me. >> president obama met with congressional leaders yesterday to begin the talks and house speaker john boehner suggested the parties could reach broad agreement on revenue targets and savings from entitlement reforms to avoid the immediate budget cuts. the leaders said they would meet again after thanksgiving.
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all right, congressman mather, before we get to this political question, because i think the political question is really important. i think some of the stuff we saw in the election year really was the product of election year dynamics. and in a positive way. >> that's why we have elections. >> that's exactly right. people say that's politics. that's also known as democracy. that's also known as accountability. there's nothing wrong with it, right? before we get to the politics of that, and george i want to bring you in on that question, substantively, where do you want, what do you want to see? i mean if you're to say jerry mather, i make you emperor of america for -- for -- or emperor of these negotiations and you get to like sign the document and that's what we get, what is the end point you would like to see? >> the end point i would like to see is something we're not going to get given the fact that republicans control the house, but, what i would like to see is much less of an emphasis on the deficit, which is a long-term, maybe medium-term problem, not an immediate problem, and a concentration of getting people back to work in curing this economy. i would like to see much more spending on infrastructure.
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let -- the government can borrow money at negative interest rates, they're paying us to take money off their hands, borrow more money as a temporary increase in the deficit frankly, use that to invest in infrastructure, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, smart electric grid protection against hurricanes, whatever, which will make us more competitive in the long run. >> right. >> number one. number two, give money to state and local governments, as we did in the stimulus bill but haven't been doing since then so that they don't continue laying off police officers and firefighters, and teachers and so forth. and make investments in education in the next generation. and if we did that, put people back to work, get the economy moving again, if we got unemployment down to 5%, which is where it was in 2007, that by itself would reduce the deficit by 40%. >> yeah, that's -- >> that's what i'd like to see. >> so short-term stimulus,
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combination of ways of focusing on getting -- >> long-term investments -- >> right. >> because those investments in infrastructure are key. >> right. >> we used to invest close to 3% of gdp in infrastructure pre-reagan. now we invest less than 1%. china invests 9%. lo do you think is going to be more competitive 30 years from now in terms of efficient economy. >> george you were just arrested last week i think in the offices of senator dick dush v, illinois senator. now someone might say well, why are you going after senator dick durbin? he's your friend. he's your ally. he's a democrat, he's a progressive democrat in the senate. why weren't you in his offices getting arrested? >> i think that first obama term was like a dress rehearsal for progressives. we got some stuff right but at the end of the day it was like we got him elected and we thought he would govern and we'd work in unison and this time around we've got to inject way
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more more post oosh election accountability. so yeah senator durbin is a great ally of ours but he's been part of this gang of six or gang of eight depending on the story, and you know, really trending in the wrong direction. >> a bipartisan group of senators in the house who had been working to the to try to hammer out some kind of deal they could take to the full senate. >> they seem to be backing away from the senate. they've got a shot at doing that. i think we need to in this second chance, we're past the dress rehearsal, is actually get out on the streets, put tension, two of the big things that president obama did that he didn't plan on doing, would block the keystone pipeline, added tension in the relationship and the dream act work. and those were both times where people actually put tension into the relationship, put people on the streets, and made the administration react. and i think this time around it can't just be a handful of them doing that. we need a broader set of folks. >> what's your ask in that office? >> i think we want to broaden the conversation. feels like completely the wrong
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place. we started off with deficits. that was the frame. we should be talking about the jobs deficit and like a fairness deficit. so how do we expand the number of revenue options on the table? nobody is talking about financial speculation in this debate. so you know, obama's now got 1.6 trillion on the table which is certainly better than where we were last year. but why not add the financial speculation tax which if you went with congressman ellison's bill that would be $3 trillion over ten years, close more tax loopholes, tax shelters, cayman islands, generate real revenue. >> we have a graphic here that shows some of the, some of the revenue options, and one of the things that always gets said is, and ed conner here said that's a carbon tax. there are different proposals. we could raise taxes on income over $250,000. that's on the table from the president. we could repeal capital gains tax break, financial transaction tax. or we could limit -- >> u.s. figures are annual --
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>> little over ten years, yeah. little over ten years. so there's -- and again, depends on how you structure this and what the actual number is, right? but you can -- you can end up in a situation where you can get a lot of revenue. one of the ways in which the conversation has been constrained is this idea of well, can't all be on the revenue side. who says it can't all be done on the revenue side. taxes as a percentage of gdp are the lowest they've been since the 1950s. >> and we have already done it all on the spending side. >> that's right. >> that's one of the things that is sort of detracting the conversation always misses is that we have actually done, because of the debt ceiling deal the budget control act, about 1.5 million in spending cuts. >> trillion and a half. >> trillion and a half, sorry. a trillion and a half in spending cuts. and we are, you know, we have discretionary budget caps right now which has been a longtime conservative aim and we are looking at, you know, in the out
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years, the lowest amount of federal spending, you know, the share of our economy in about 50 years. and that just doesn't make any sense if you look at what's actually going on with the working middle class in this country. >> and one way -- >> that's before any spending cuts that they're out to negotiate. >> exactly. we've already done it. >> one of the ways to look at it is like elections have consequences, right? and like they won and -- provoked the debt ceiling crisis and we got the budget control act. that was a bill that reflected their priorities and the mandate they interpreted as having when they ran and those are locked in 1.5 trillion cuts now we just had another election. and the democrats whooped up on them. and so it's like the, the, the centerpiece of the conversation should be shifting, but joy as someone who covers this, i don't feel like the centerpiece has shifted except on the one issue the president mentioned, which is taxes at the top. >> right. it's interesting because i think that it is a beltway fetish, this idea of a tax -- of tackling the deficit.
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and i think that is both, in washington, on capitol hill, but also in the media. the media, the beltway i think has bought into this idea that deficits are the primary conversation we should be having. but if you look at it as a historic matter, you know, what did fdr do wrong after injecting a huge amount of stimulus in to the economy he gave into the temptation to attack deficits than he did austerity which plunged the country back into a recession. what did europe do wrong? they responded to this huge economic crisis with austerity and in the case of great britain they went into a double-dip recession. their economy is flat-lined because of austerity. so, you know, president obama has a great opportunity to not make the mistakes of history and not make the mistakes of europe. austerity doesn't work. the other issues and we talk about that budget fight, what you're saying accurately that after 2010, we're going to try austerity, we're going to do what the republicans want, which is cuts, we found out how difficult it is to find things to shave off the budget. there are only a few things to cut. there's defense, there's social security, what are the big items in the budget?
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there isn't a lot out there. >> particularly when you talk about noun defense discretionary spending which is basically the lowest level of spending in a generation. but congressman i want to hear about what the policy, how politics, i think there's some consensus at the table about what broadly division went ahead towards so the big question is how to get from here to there. flattered when regenerist beat
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we have a conversation that's happening, the center of which to me seems wrong. the focus of which seems wrong. not on mass unemployment and the massive waste of resources and livelihoods, and just human happiness that is represented by that. just emotional level, just like, it's like causing psyching destruction amongst our fellow citizens and depression for no good reason. like we can't fix it. that's not the conversation. conversation is about what are the projections of the balanced
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payments in 2026. okay, fine. so then the question is, as member of the united states congress, and as member of the minority in the united states congress in the house of representatives, what can be done? what are the actual political points of leverage to change this or do we just sit here on my show and go like oh, they're saying the wrong thing? >> the main point of leverage is the so-called fiscal cliff, which isn't really a cliff, but, the fact is that come january 1st or so, all the bush taxes including those on people below 250,000 expire when the payroll tax cut expires the alternative minimum tax hikes up, sequestration of 1.2 trillion dollars kicks in and various other tax breaks for moderate income people go away, that will hit the economy hard. and everyone wants to avoid that. now we don't have to avoid it on jaush 1st. >> right.
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>> if we make an agreement on february 1st, or march 1st, you can make it retro active. people get nervous. but we can do that. there's no hard deadline, really. >> right. >> but, the -- the one leverage we really have, i guess, pure republicans, saying what they've been saying, is that all the leverage changes on january 1st. >> right. >> because right now, you've got to vote to extend taxes and they're saying we're not going to vote to extend the tax cuts without everybody's tax cuts not just for people under $ 50,000. after january 1st the tax cuts expire. >> right. >> they're gone. everybody's taxes have gone up. and now, you come in to the building and you say, let's reduce the following taxes, and there are the republicans. >> so that is that. i've heard that -- is that what you want to see happen? or -- >> well, i guess i think the one thing it seems like we all agree on is we have the wrong starting point, and deficits are the frame and that's where we're starting and so we need to break that up.
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and then, at least i feel like the election created some opening, so we have this kind of fairness moment in america. and actually occupy, play a big role in that. i think people were feeling something wasn't working. feeling a lack of fairness in their lives and somebody named it. then it became real credence to what people were feeling and the election was about many things but i think it was about fairness. so i think to actually, i mean, an insider strategy will only get us so far. and a fight that's starting up on such a bad place. so what are we going to do? you've got to go out and engage constituents all across the country to get into this. i think with the fiscal cliff frame also like i was in a cab on my way to the airport yesterday to get here and the cabbie is like they've got to fix this fiscal cliff, the world is going to come to the end. we started saying no it's the inequality cliff. >> that's very deliberate. that frame is very deliberate to frighten people and set up the political nature to which people would do things they never would otherwise do such as voting to
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cut social security and medicare and medicaid. which would normally be unthinkable. you've got to do it to have a balanced solution. >> and i think it's amazing the exconsistent to which despite the fact that we've had occupy, despite the fact that the wall street is their ultimate candidate mitt romney who is their embody, right, lost the election, we still frame everything in terms of what will hit the street. what will happen to wall street? which made tremendous profits over the last four years. they haven't been hurt at all. but they're so terrified of this fiscal cliff, it's their frame. >> last week, former partner of bain capital the irony is two things are happening simultaneously. the one hand, as actors in the political sphere, people in the 1% and in finance and wall street are saying, oh, my god, we're screwed. our deficits are going to be too big, and it's going to mean huge interest rates and a run on u.s. treasuries, right? this is how they talk when
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they're in the sphere of politics. then during their day job when they're trading bonds, right, the actual yields on the bond prices which is a market reflection. these are people who believe that market prices convey the right information, when they're in their day job trading the bonds it's historically low yields. all everyone cannot give the u.s. government money fast enough and leave their jobs and take, sell it down to washington and say oh, my god it's a total disaster the whole thing is going to blow up and go back to trading their bonds. >> and by the way, i saw some of the news mentioned the other day 448 days or something like that since the u.s. was downgraded by one of the rating agencies. what are we going to do about it? what it shows is nothing will happen. the rating agency was dumped. >> talk out this idea of direct action. i want you to talk me through where that goes. because it seems to me like people are going to say, look, sorry, there's a republican --
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the republican house of representatives we've got to deal with them. i want to hear more on that when we come back. into their work, their name on the door, and their heart into their community. small business saturday is a day to show our support. a day to shop at stores owned by our friends and neighbors. and do our part for the businesses that do so much for us.
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it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. so you go to a senator's office and you get arrested, or you have a group of people -- i don't want to minimalize that, it's not fun to be arrested, but what is -- there is a disconnect. i think we all agree on that. there's this conversation that's happening, there's a fear on some people that because of the president's -- that the president's resounding victory is in some ways a double-edged sword. on one level it shows he campaigned on some of the progressive priorities, taxes at the high end, but also he doesn't have anyone to worry about. that he has free-range to make this deal. what is your theory of action here about how you exert some real kind of grassroots
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accountable on this conversation, which is happening on an insider baseball kind of way? >> let's take the senator durbin action on friday what would have happened if people had moved into the streets, occupied the building and got arrested, we would have a sign-on letter from all the organizations in illinois saying don't do a bad deal. like, that's not going to get it done. so, senator durbin is not used to having progressive people, people doing a demonstration. he definitely shakes up the way he thinks about this debate and makes him react. the senate is a key fire wall in ensuring we don't have a bad deal. that's part of the theory. secondly, this is difficult stuff to understand. this is, like, turn -- if you want -- i don't know -- we're probably killing ratings now talking about the fiscal cliff. i think these demonstrations and the level of people putting their bodies on the line, these were like students, cleargy. i was in the holding tank with a
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senior who was 75, trembling, barely able to stand up with his face against the wall cuffed for three hours. basically saying you all need to wake up because this is a big deal. you voted for fairness but you won't get fairness just because you voted. that's a key. on the republican side, we know that a lot of people that voted republican are actually with us on this issue. so how do we get in there and actually start to organize people and build a wedge there. >> one issue, i want to show this, that's a key point. like, here's bill crystal last week saying basically, you know, do we need to protect these tax cuts at the top. one of the most consistent polk results was that raising tacks on people at the top is incredibly popular. it's a majority position among republicans often. >> and the other popular position is don't cut benefits on medicare or social security. that's a majority position among republican voters, too.
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what is amazing to me is you open up the paper, you watch on television, there's boehner, mcconnell, all these people saying he has to have major entitlement cuts, cuts in social security, medicare and medicaid. right after the republicans got finished beating up on the democrats for allegedly taking $760 billion for medicare, that's terrible, now they're insisting we have to take more money for medicare, medicaid, social security. the democrats are stupid enough to go along with that. they will criticize the democrats the next election. >> that's a great point. heather, you were in washington and watched the sausage making happen. how much leverage do you think there is? >> that's a good question. i think unfortunately we may have to get through this period of time of complete detachment from reality. and then the conversation will shift as it will as people start to gear up for the midterms. people start looking out into the country again and saying, hey, we're still at about 8% unemployment out here. jobs are still the number one
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concern of voters. not on the donor class, but of voters. then there's going to be a whole, okay, we have all these recessionary spending caps, but what can we do to get people back to work. >> a bad deal can get baked in the interim. is it possible to create, when you talk about medicare, social security, some reporting suggesting that jack lew who is the president's chief of staff, in the last round of these said medicaid, no, no no can't touch medicare. >> medicare, i assume? >> no. this is on medicaid. medicare search more open. medicaid is a huge way of how the affordable health care act will get people covered. medicare has already done some stuff, they have done stuff in terms of the payments providers, and in the president's proposal there are additional changes to payment formulas. that's already on the table.
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but are there red lines for you, congressman, because here's an interesting way that this will come down. if there's any revenue at all in this deal, if there is a deal, they're going to lose a lot of people on the house republican caucus. they might lose 30, they might lose 40, they might lose 50, they might lose 60, maybe 70 did pending how much revenue is on the table. which means in order for it to pass, nancy pelosi has to come over and knock on your door. what are your red lines on this? >> i suppose i'll have a number of red lines. number one, not a nickel in reductions and cost of living increases, social security, not a nickel in reductions to benefits to medicare and medicaid. those are probably the most primary red lines. then i would want to see -- >> that's interesting. >> i would want to see -- where you draw the red line, i don't know. i don't want to see more cuts in discretionary spending, i don't
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want to see increases to the military. i don't want to see revenue -- revenues, so-called, that will impact the middle class, like eliminating state and local taxes. that's a very important one. some of the proposals that are on the table now, they came from romney. they came from democrats saying great idea. let's cap deductions at 35,000 or $40,000. that will, in a high tax rate like you are, that will really almost eliminate to a large extent, deductibility, state and local taxes. which, in turn, will put more pressure on state and local golf t governments not to provide social services, and to cut their spending. it would ratchet it down. >> would be amaze forget losing candidates signature policy, which is dealt with ad hoc reverse engineered around the things he didn't want to say, was what ended up being --
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>> we see people like conrad saying it's a good idea. let's be clear, you can start reducing upper income deductions as you used to do. that's one thing. but hard caps deductibility, local and state tax deductibility, out of the question. >> i want to get your sense of where the president is on this after the break. [ male announcer ] febreze. eliminates odors and leaves carpets fresh. ♪ on gasoline. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. [ male announcer ] and it's not just these owners giving the volt high praise. volt received the j.d. power and associates appeal award two years in a row. ♪
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joy, the president had a meeting yesterday with congressional leadership. what smoke signals do you think are coming from the white house about all of this? >> it's interesting, because functionally barack obama has been probably the most progressive president we've had in my lifetime certainly. but i do think that he, to a certain extent, believes in this idea of deficit reduction. >> yeah. >> and i believe that confounds a lot of people on the left. because he does seem to genuinely believe he needs to tackle deficits, partly because of the bill clinton example,
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that that's a legacy thing. i think he generally believes it. i think the concern for people on the left has to be that he's coming from a place of he does want to go at the deficit now. he would do a grand bargain. i think part of the grand bargain last time was a bit of saying if i give you this, everything you should want and you still say no, because i know you'll say no -- >> then it shows you're -- >> shows that you're unreasonable. so i think we need to take that with a grain of salt. but he does subscribe -- >> this point is important. i'm not huge for psychoanalyzing about public figures, but all the reporting, people that have been in meeting with the press, this is not some fabricated thing, it's not out of convenience or political pressure, he believes that we need to get our fiscal house in order, we need to reduce the projections, stabilize debt to gdp, that's a genuine priority of the president of the united states. >> here's what i would love for
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him to add to the conversation. let's do it with a trigger of our own which is let's say put all this -- bake this all in the cake and say it doesn't come into play until we get down to 6% unemployment. then you're actually teasing out what we know by the fiscal cliff which is if you go to austerity, it will cost jobs. >> because boehner is now floating -- his thing yesterday was we have an architecture for a deal here, we come up with some other time device in the future. i keep thinking it gets worse and worse. six months if we don't have a deal, we'll have to stab ourselves in the eye and then run around for a month naked in january. keep doing the thing -- >> but don't do the thing. the thing is austerity. >> but everybody believes that ultimately we have to get our fiscal house in order and deal
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with the deficit. the divide is how do you deal with it? you don't do it with austerity, by cutting spending, driving your economy worse into a recession or depression, throwing more people out of work and having a bigger deficit which is what's happening in europe. you do it by spending the money to invest in people, in infrastructure, by putting people to work, and by reducing the deficit, by having more tax revenues as a result. >> i think the sequencing point here is key, what you said when you opened the show this struck me. we talk a lot, we want to put people back to work. we have a big gap between people who want to go to work and work that needs to be done, and people want to put money in the bank and pay for the costs. but this gap between people wanting to contribute and not being able to contribute in this country, that's a moral crisis. that's got to be dealt with first. >> that's a deficit. it's a miss match.
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>> there's a trillion dollar demand deficit and also a generational deficit. we're talking about young people, if they're lucky enough to graduate from college have graduated into a economy that says we don't want your labor. >> but we do want your debt paid. >> exactly. we want your checks to the bank, but we don't want your labor, we don't want your ideas or contribution. and there is another way to go. we crunched some numbers and put out a proposal that jan took up which is that we could do the most economically efficient thing by getting people back to work by putting people back to work. we could have a million public service jobs, people from all over the country, young people flying to arizona, to nevada, working side by side to build this country back up. not just hard infrastructure, but working in day care centers, child care centers. this could be a generation-defining thing that would be more economically efficient than putting people back to work. >> just to take all the toy out
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of the idea of us think being a progressive future. the reality is the last time that we did an attack on the economic problem, the economic crisis, governors were given money, right, in the stimulus. but what did most of them do? they reduced their public sector work force. most of the job decline has been because governors, states directly -- >> so did the federal government. >> but wait, wait. that was after the stimulus money wore out. the stimulus money that was given to states and local governments, about $240 billion kept local -- public servants at work, kept governments from laying off people, kept governments fixing the potholes. and that wore out, we didn't replace it. >> but at the federal level, we had also reductions in the federal work force. we're going after the post office at the federal level because guys in congress want to get rid of the post office and
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privatize it. >> we've been basically throwing the car in reverse. >> exactly. >> george, heather, thanks for joining us. when you're arrested outside congressman nadler's office, we'll have you back. woel s we'll see you tomorrow, right? occupy wall street going after debt destroying lives as we speak. that's up next. if you are one of the millions of men
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...to our city streets... ♪ ...to skies around the world... ♪ ...northrop grumman's security solutions are invisibly at work, protecting people's lives... [ soldier ] move out! [ male announcer ] ...without their even knowing it. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman. we've been talking about washington's preoccupation to an irrational degree with deficits. on thursday, richard tr nurse, ca expressed frustration saying what we're facing is an obstacle course within a manufactured crisis that haasly was thrown together in response to inflated
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rhetoric about our federal deficit. trumka's lament says something about the debt obsession, it has obscured also another much more dire debt crisis in america, one that continues to suppress economic growth and cause mass suffering for millions of american. that's the overhang of household debt. americans remain massively overleveraged with more than $11 trillion in household debt. most of which is mortgage debt. there seems s ts to be no poli will to deal with this, which is why a new plan by organizers associated with occupy wall street is so fascinating. the offshoot called strike debt is raising money to buy debt for pennies on the dollar. usually that debt is bought by third parties looking to collected on the amount owed by the borrower, but strike debt is buying the debt and canceling
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it. no questions asked. they're calling it a rolling jubilee. since their online telethon on thursday night, they raised nearly $300,000 to buy or forgive nearly $6 million of debt. joining me are the organizer of the jubilee, and the author of "occupy america." also sarah ludwig, and doug henwood, editor and publisher of the left business review. all right. so, i would debt? why has -- have you guys come along organizing on debt as this singular issue? >> well, we are part of an offshoot of occupy wall street called strike debt. strike debt emerged out of the
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recognition that debt was sort of the way many people attracted to occupy wall street early on. they identified as debtors. so thinking back to an early day at the park, a young man was saying step right up, write down what you're worth to the 1%. people were putting down these incredible numbers. i remember a moment of hesitation in myself when i got nervous before writing down the $45,000 i owed in students loans. the girl behind me wrote down 120,000. an older woman wrote down a large $50,000 of medical debt. people were naming this and coming out. people involved in occupy from the beginning identified as debtors. this moved them to action. strike debt emerged this summer, earlier this summer partly in solidarity with international movements against austerity and in montreal students were protesting tuition hikes and
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wearing red squares, and pointing to bigger social problems, the privatization of all sorts of social services. so strike debt has come out of that. >> why do you think it has the emotional resonance it does? why was that the thing? i remember in the i am the 99%, that website, right, people were writing down their story. a lot of them were around debt, revolved around debt. why do you think debt has the emotional resonance it does? >> because debt is isolating, individualizing, and we are living in a society where we are under so much burden of debt that it just -- it makes sense when you look at the 99%, and 77% of americans have debt. and those that don't have debt are effected by it. that the choices we make in our lives, for example, are based on whether we can pay back or not. and what type of jobs we'll
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accept, who we become what jobs we decide out of school, what we decide as mothers, fathers in terms of children. i have a friend who used to work at a law firm, he still works at a law firm, he never liked his job but he stayed in it because he didn't want his children to take out loans to go to school. >> i was at the telethon on thursday night. i was struck by this thing that jacqueline lewis said. she talked about the biblical tradition of jubilee, and the way debt and freedom are intentioned. take a look. >> a whole lot of our population is in shackles. absolutely overwhelmed, can't get out of it. credit card debt, paying, you know, 16% interest. something you buy for $100 ends up costing you 2,000 before you pay it off. education debt. can't get out. can't get a job. can't get free.
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hospital, health care debt. forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. jesus who was a rabbi, who often many of us think of as the child of god, was saying this is the way to freedom. this is the way to liberation. debt needs to be canceled. all of that cancellation is called a year of jubilee. >> i want to talk about the way debt shapes the lives of people in the communities that you work with and the role that debt plays in american capitalism. having you ship my gifts couldn't be easier.
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here's a chart that gives you a sense of the trends in debt. it's historical private debt to gdp ratio. and what you see is basically it peaks on the eve of the great crash that precipitates the great depression, then there's a massive period of deleveraging, and then it goes up again and
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peaks on the eve in 2007 at the end of the housing bubble on the eve of the second great crash. it started to come down, but there's a long way to go. sarah, i want you to tell me about the communities you work in, how the role that debt plays in peoples live there's, how it structures peoples behavior and the decisions they make. >> yeah. you asked before why debt resonates so much with people, it's because there's been this explosion in credit and indebtedness. and we work with mostly low-income people and people of color in new york city, and what's really plaguing them is abusive debt collection practices. so they're wildly indebted, over half of households making less than $50,000 now use credit for basic expenses. so, to cover, you know, food, medicine, utility bills, so forth because we don't have -- we had stagnant wages, we don't have a living wage. people are absolutely struggling. you have one unforeseen, you know, visit to the emergency
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room and you're now wiped out financially. you have the fact that people don't have access to affordable health care, insurance, so we work with people who actually are being pulled into the world of harassing relentless debt buyers and collectors. anyone who has gotten those phone calls knows it's a plague and is focused on low-income people in our experience. >> debt collection, the debt buying industry has exploded. the idea is there's someone who can't pay back their debts, you tried to extract from them, you think i'll get out of this while i can. i'll sell it to someone on five cents on the dollar that person has an incentive to hound the person, see if they can cut a deal to get six cents on the dollar, seven cents on the dollar. in 1995, the debt buying industry was $12 billion, by 2012, it was up to $215 billion. the average amount owed from debt collection rose from under
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$900 in 2003, to $1600 in 2012. so we've seen a rise in then industry of buying this debt, and we've also seen a rise in the amount that people owe. doug, you've written, i think, sort of both affectionately and critically about what strike debt is doing. one point is, you made is that debt in and of itself plays an important role. and you say, well, debt is entrapping or something. but if you take out debt and you get a good education, that's a good investment in building up your skills, then you can pay it off, there's certain debt that debt in and of itself is not bad and plays a vital role. >> well, that chart you had of the private debt to gdp ratio, falls off at the end. what we have been going through is people have been deleveraging. that's why the economy is so stagnant. the economy is dependent on high levels of debt to keep going. >> explain deleveraging. >> people paying off debt. not paying debt. >> getting rid of the amount they owe. >> getting down the debt to
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income ratio. we've been going through that for four, five years. a lot of countries have been doing something similar, but we're further along. but debt, i think, is also a symptom. if we go back to the late '70s, early '80s when we first saw the volcker reagan crackdown. the end of inflation in the '70s, an assault on the living standards, union busting, all that, all the outsourcing, everything that has become familiar since, we have an economic on mass purchasing power f peoples living wages are under attack, how do you sustain the purchasing how power? it's through borrowing. the number of people seriously debt distressed, it's a minority of the population. it's a suffering minority. i don't want to minimize their suffering, but it's 10%, 15% of
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the population, but it's a symptom of something much larger, the stress on living standards, the stress on incomes, the inability for people to make ends meet. we have a crazy health care system, education debt, education should be free. >> i wanted to talk about what produces this debt and get into the nitty gritty of how you'll forgive it after this break. we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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good morning from new york. i'm chris hayes here with writer astra, sarah ludwig, and doug henwood. we are talking about debt, the role debt plays in peoples lives and strike debt, the initiative from an occupy wall street offshoot, if that's a fair term. to essentially purchase distressed debt and forgive it sarah, you work with communities whose lives are structured by
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debt and hounded by collection agencies. >> we have to understand this debt buying and debt collection in the context of financial systems that is really predicated on inequality and exploitation. the way we understand the debt buying industry, it's one more stop on the spectrum of exploited practices. so we know that credits exploded, but what kinds of credit? we have seen the banks made an absolute killing. we think about chase, bank of america. they have really targeted struggling people for high-cost credit. they charge high interest rates. jack in fees. that's the business model. they know full well that in their high-volume of credit they're issuing, that there's going to be a percentage of people that are not able to pay the debt. so lots of people are struggling to pay, so they make tons of money on that. then they write off the debt that they don't collect after a certain number of days. they get a tax benefit from that. then they also have spun off this whole debt buying industry.
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>> can i play devil's advocate? so people who support this system, they will say, a, there's long periods of time in which communities had no access to credit. it was an economic stranglehold. if you don't have access to credit, you can't take loans to start a small business or buy a house, people don't have access to credit, so let's fill that need by charging rates and having payday loans at 400% apr, which is really -- in communities of color and low-income neighborhoods that is our financial system. we have a separate and unequal financial system, and so in this debt that gets sold, a huge percentage of it is medical debt and credit card debt, and so you've got people who are actually -- don't even know the way this is sold. it's so shoddy and flimsy, the banks, what they sell are spread sheets.
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they don't even have solid information. so there's absolute due process violations and so forth in the pursuit of this debt, because increasingly, what they're doing is actually using the courts to go after people overwhelmingly low income people and people of color. >> our focus on debt has to be considered in a continue washington mutual of analysis since september of last year. when you look at the 99% tumbler, you see what's aching people, but it's missing the structural analysis. to us, debt, the focus on debt is both personal and structural. and it opens up space for imagining new ways, a set of social relations and it's not about whether debt is bad or good. that's actually a red herring. the thing about it is where is the socially useful debt and how do we produce that? >> what is interesting is that in some ways there's a conservative on forbes who wrote this trolling piece. finally something a conservative can get behind.
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it's perky and not making any claims on the stacht just peote. just people helping people. charities more or less but with hipper music. there's something amazing about that. mutual aid, which is a very long tradition, but also, are you guys just running basically a charity here and people give money, donate it, and then you forgive the debt and then people will say well, the people that whose debt is being sold, collectors have basically given up on it anyway and can you even find the people whose debt you're forgiving? >> one of the beautiful things about this project is it actually has concrete effects. it will -- the money raised will go to abolishing people's medical debt, and often, the credit card bills that they have to incur because they can't pay their medical bills, right? so it will be this very concrete effect on people as a consequence. but i think an equally important
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part of this project is the public education campaign and that's where it is more radical, because our analysis is deeper. i agree with doug that is a symptom and our job is to get people to take that step. one of our phrases is you are not alone, right? the situation you're in is not just you as an individual having made a mistake. >> you are not a l-o-a-n. >> right. this is political and personal. if you are the -- the driver who came and picked me up today bringing me to the show told me he had to get his appendix out and ended up with $40,000 in medical debt. we're saying okay, this debt exists because we don't have a system in place where there's health care, because health care is a commodity, and your debt is illegitimate. we want to do that public education so. the project is twofold. >> a year ago we started saying that the banks got bailed out,
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people got sold out. this is our answer. but it's just the beginning, to highlight that no one should go into debt for basic needs. and if you look at the analysis from the 1930s, i mean, they were pushing debt on us, right? and these bubbles were created and what have you. and from the 1930s up until this point, we have gone from having social welfare type stuff for people in need to a debt fare state, where our most basic necessities of existence, we have to go into debt together. >> the american dream is getting out of debt now. the young people, right? >> it's the key aspiration. >> we talk about organizing for the next generation, young people are so weighted down by student debt and other types of dealt. i just want to say that part of our project is this debt resi resisters operation manual that lays out our bigger analysis. and i think you have to understand all of our projects in tandem. >> debt forgiveness is something that sounds, you know, either sort of spiritually inflicted or
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hippie or impractical, but there's been a strong economic case that the technical term for this, which is principal writedowns, which is saying the lend ser going to write off some portion of the principal, actually just take a haircut on that chunk of the loan. that would actually be good economic policy, it would make good sense. >> the imf even agrees with this. pressing europeans not to be so hard on greece and spain. the germans don't want to hear this. but the imf actually supports this. >> but wouldn't it be possible to have some policy version of this that would be some kind of broad definition? >> absolutely. we look at iceland, which is a very tiny place, a few hundred thousand people. but one of the ways they got through the economic crisis was the government went through all the business and personal loans saying we'll write this down by 10%, by 20%. it was a very orderly process. they stiffed their foreign creditors, too. we don't have the luxury to do
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that here. on the other hand, going through the debts and running things down, it's orthodox capitalist practice. we didn't do that here. part of the problem -- there is a political issue where people who are paying their debts resent it, people who they see as irresponsible get a break. solidarity is sometimes lacking in this country. >> we should always remember, the launching moment for the tea party, it was -- people say oh, it angered the banks. it was on cnbc, rick santelli was yelling about the losers getting bailed out. it was going to sort of help people a little bit with their interest payments and rick santelli was crazy about it. >> you have to ask where is the true moral hazard in our financial system. and it's really interesting,
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because with these debt buyers, what they do is they use the courts to go after people, and there are hundreds of thousands of lawsuits filed in new york city alone each year to go after people in debt collection. and the thing that's interesting is they get judgments through fraudulent means and they go on people's credit report. so you start to spin out the focus on debt collection. you say well, if these judgments are going on people's credit reports and they might be ill-gotten, then that impedes people's access to jobs, to housing. >> one of the things i want to say here is you hear a lot about conservatives from freedom. one of the things that's profound about this is that being in deep debt and having a bad credit report and having that hang over you is a shackling thing. it does limit freedom, and if we want to maximize freedom, that's something we have to go head of on. people can go to rollingjubilee.org. i want to thank aster and sarah,
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and my douglao. will the president tackle climate change in his second term? that's next. if you think running a restaurant is hard, try running four. fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. [ female announcer ] for everything your face has to face. face it with puffs ultra soft & strong. puffs has soft, air-fluffed pillows for 40% more cushiony thickness. face every day with puffs softness.
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let's solve this.
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♪ the first time in what seems like a long while, the reality of climate change is back on the political agenda. like many of you, i spent this election season increasingly depressed about the climate's near total absence from the conversation. 19 days ago, the arrival of sandy and the death and destruction issue impossible to maintain. since then andrew cuomo has talked about climate change and so has president obama both when he was asked about it on his news conference and in his victory night victory speech. >> we want our children to live in america that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by
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inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of the warming planet. >> what specifically do you plan to do in a second term to tackle the issue of climate change and do you think the political will exists in washington to pass legislation that could include some kind of attacks on carbon? >> i am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior, and carbon emissions. and as a consequence i think we've got an obligation to future generations to do something about it. >> we must rethink and redesign for the long-term because extreme weather, as we have learned, is the new normal. >> and at this week's settlement with bp of wasn't a reminder enough of the hazards of pursuing fossil fuels, there are new pictures of black elk oil rig where an oil k explosion and
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fire injured 11 people. even as the conversation has shifted, the stakes made more dramatically apparent and polling shows americans focused on climate peril, the basic political physics are almost as clear as the planetary physics. making a serious dent in climate change requires taking action that will cost huge almost incomprehensible amounts of money to the wealthiest and corporate interests in the history of the world. the main challenge climate hawks face isn't absence of policy but building sufficient political power to make those policies a possibility. joining me is bill mckib bon and founder of 350.org which has launched a do the math, alana shore from green wire and a night science journalism fellow at m.i.t. and jerry nadler, an msnbc contributor joy reid. bill mckib bon, i facetiously
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created you as a rock star because you're selling out big venues across the country. i've been seeing people tweeting about it. people not familiar with the math that you were talking about, what is the math? what are you trying to communicate on this tour? >> this came out of this piece i wrote for rolling stone this summer that became one of their most shared pieces because it laid out finally the rock and the hard place. >> right. >> we've got -- if we're going to keep the temperature from going up past 2 degrees, which is what everybody in the world, including the u.s. government has said is too high, that's the red line. >> right. we want to keep it below 20 degrees. even that is going to cause a lot of dislocation and problems. >> if we were smart we would stop way short of two. that's the best that nel one government will commit to. the scientists tell us we can burn about 550 gig dag tons more carbon, 550 billion tons more carbon which sounds like a hell
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of a lot but we're burning 30 some billion tons a year. we get about 15 years at current rates before we shoot past that threshold, and that's the good news. the bad news, the third number, the really scary one is that last year a group of financial analysts added up how much carbon the fossil fuel industry had in its reserves. that number's about 2800 gigatons or five times as much, and they're going to burn it. unless we figure out how to stop them, that's what exxon's share price is based on when pea body coal borrows money, that's their collateral. there's no room for doubt where this story goes. >> we have this graphic to illustrate it. so the total amount of fossil fuel reserves, if you guys can put that up, right? that's $27 trillion. and then the amount that we can safely burn is about 5.4 trillion, right? >> exactly. and safely in quotes. >> safely. that little orange slice, that's the budget.
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right? that's the budget for here until whenever. as long as we can kind of. >> 150 anyway. >> we call civilization keep it going. the blue part is the part that has to be left in the ground. >> exactly right. what that means since the oil industry and the coal industrial are intent on burning the blue part, what it means is, there and what the point we're trying to communicate with this do the math tour is that they're the equivalent now to the safety of the planet that the tobacco industry became to individual health. okay? these are outlaw companies. they're not outlawing against the laws of the nation. they get to write those. but they are outlawing against the laws of physics. >> i want to jump in and actually deliver even worse news. >> awesome, great. >> sorry to bum folks out, but price waterhouse coop ser one of the biggest insurance firms in the world five days before the election came out with a report and the cover said too late for 2 degrees. bill's been doing this for
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longer than i have. they crunched the numbers. never since world war ii have we gone above 1% in our total decarbonization in terms of how much carbon we're able to stop burning, take out of the atmosphere, et cetera. never above one. they calculated for the next 39 years we'd have to go above 5%. we're currently averaging.7 to.8 decarbonization a year. he global agreement, but is it even possible? >> unless we change very fast. we're going there. >> think about the gargantuan sums of money those same industries spent to attempt to elect mitt romney and defeat president barack obama. i mean, these were the people, if you think about the koch amorphous. they are this industry. >> they're pike teres compared to the biggest fossil fuel companies. >> absolutely. >> the biggest fossil fuel companies, i don't know if the biggest companies care that much who is in office. i feel like they. >> i agree. >> they genuinely feel they
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could basically work their magic on both sides. >> you know, we're going to have a really interesting early test case. and that's this keystone pipeline thing that went away for a while because the president said we're going to spend a year studying it. well, you know, in the course of that year, mother nature filed her public comments. we will the hottest year in american history. we had epic drought. we melted the arctic and then we had this small storm that filled the new york city subway system with water. that aside, the oil industry is still pretty sure. the head of the american petroleum institute said last week we had implicit promises from the obama administration that we would approve this pipeline. we're going back to d.c. on sunday to thousands of us to remind the white house we haven't forgotten. >> i want to talk about the pipeline. i do think there's good news on the horizon and some kind of breakup in some of the political stalemate that we've seen right after this break. into their work, their name on the door,
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the keystone pipeline is a
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pipeline that would bring tar sands oil from canada down into the u.s. and tar sands oil is particularly toxic. carbon intensive stuff, right? it's ot not the easy light sweet crude. >> disgusting i think is the technical term. >> it's disgusting stuff but it's valuable. that's why they're pulling it out and bring it down. it turned into a political football. >> they're bringing it to the gulf coast to export a lot of it. >> to export it. so it became this issue. i think republicans thought they had a real issue when some effective activism by 350.org and other climate activists managed to essentially put pause on it. the state department had to give it its seal of approval and didn't before the election. and immediately, i think the next day, you already saw the american petroleum institute starting to move on this. congressman, as someone who has to get elected and work with other people, get elected and some of them have to get elected
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in swing districts, the republicans thought they had the upper hand on the story of the pipeline. i wonder what you think the political terrain looks like for blocking it or for talking about the fact that ripping every cell out of carbon is a problematic endeavor. >> i think a lot of this depends, frankly on presidential leadership. he's got the bully pulpit. we're not going to get very far if he doesn't use it. it really comes back to the administration. we just had election in which democratic -- the key stone pipeline wasn't that huge an issue. >> no, they thought it was going to be. >> because the president put it off and said we're going to do it or make a decision, et cetera, it sort of got taken out of the election. on the other hand, a lot of democratic candidates got pretty badly bashed in places like pennsylvania, ohio, west virginia appalachians by the administration's war on coal. was the war on coal? saying hey, we've got to be careful how much we take, how we use it, about the carbon footprint, et cetera. and so you've got a part of the democratic party, not to mention
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the republican party which does not want any limitations and certainly not carbon tax or anything because they get killed at home. >> the war on coal is basically being waged by something called natural gas prices. much more than it's being waged by the obama administration. >> that's the reality, but the -- but it was used as a political weapon. >> it was. and this -- i guess i don't want to linger too much on doom and gloom, but we have reduced -- there has been a remarkable reduction in carbon emissions in the u.s. i mean, we're down to 1990 levels. right? you know, it going down is going in the right direction, right? >> there are two things happening that might go in the right direction. one which the administration deserves a lot of credit on is energy conservation. higher cafe standards. >> fuel efficiency. >> fuel efficiency and the other which hopefully, which actually is part of this whole budget
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discussion although people aren't really focusing on it, do we renew the tax credits for wind and other alternative energy sources? the republicans don't want to renew that at all. they want to renew the tax credits for coal and oil as if the companies aren't profitable enough already. that's the first step even before the keystone. >> absolutely. i think a real untold story agreed that natural gas prices have helped drive coal share down to 34% of generated electricity in america which is huge. it used to be 50. but a huge portion that have is renewables. september, 100% of the new electricity generated in america was renewable. 100%. >> but i mean i think you also have the attention the other way. congressman nadler got to it. you have a lot of people day to day livelihood in plays like west virginia, louisiana. while their environment is being destroyed, if you think about louisiana as a state that is being literally destroyed by the industry that employs a good
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number of the people there. so every mechanism in that state is designed to protect an industry that's destroying the state. but people as real lives are tied to it. even democrats, someone like jay rockefeller who is considered a great prerogative when it comes to coal, he's are with the republicans. >> anyone who is going to be elected -- there are certain places where it's the geographic interests override the ideological ones. >> that's why is we need some actually leadership from the president, and others on the really central issues. i mean, look, climate change is the legacy issue of all legacy issues. you know, 100 years from now, the only thing that people are going to look back on 2012 and care about. the fiscal cliff or the -- it's like, you guys the arctic melts and you didn't do anything about it? why is that? >> keystone is one pipeline. the canadian company is planning to double the same pipeline that
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leaked. say obama rejects keystone. a lot of that oil is going to come down a pipeline double the size of michigan. they're looking to a pipeline in the east because of the west. now they're trying to ship it east. >> i also want to talk about, my question is the presidential leadership aside and i think the bully pulpit could be overrated. you still have the house republican caucus. the question, i want to hear from you the theory of change here that is like attacking this problem that isn't just more speeches from barack obama. after we take this break. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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somehow we're going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, i don't think anybody's going to go for that. i won't go for that. >> president answering the question on climate change in the press conference on wednesday. so bill, i mean, presidential leadership, sure, important. i guess. but given the obstacles that you have laid out so convincingly, it seems to me there's something much bigger that has to happen. >> you all are deeply focused on washington all the time. maybe it's time to move our gaze a little bit. the reason we set out on this do the math tour 350.org, to say after 20 years of sending is the world's greatest scientists up on the hill and nothing happening, maybe it's time to rethink the game plan. the problem here in the end is the fossil fuel industry. exxon made more money last year than any company in the history of money. these guys have more money than god. and that means that we're going
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to need to put a little hurt on them if we're going to have any chance of changing politics in washington or in beijing or in a lot of other places. we set out on this tour, which has been drawing huge crowds across the country to spark a campaign, a campaign that looks in part like the one that helped bring down apartheid south africa. we're getting colleges to to huge pressure on them to divest. the first college in america last week we were in portland, maine, in a huge packed out theater and the president of little unity college stood up and said our board of trustees just voted to sell all our stock in the fossil fuel industry. we're going to turn these guys into the tobacco industry if we can. and if we do, maybe it will open up a little more room for people like barack obama to be a little more courageous than they've been. >> i think another piece of good news too, you're seeing the media kind of get rid of that false balance where they were giving climate skeptics equal air time. i don't think that's happening as much as it used to.
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>> no, i think that has changed a lot. the problem is it's been replaced by lack of coverage. when there's a controversy, you can cover controversy. when there was a bill on climate on capitol hill, you can cover the bill on capitol hill. is it going to pass, it's not. >> here's the bad news. mother nature is going to continue to give us ample opportunity to talk about this issue because this is going to be the hottest year in american history. it's fought trails only last year as the year with the most expensive disasters in american history. you know, we're getting hit hard all the time. when the cover of that radical rag "business week" says it's global warming, stupid, you know things are starting to shift. >> you also have to break the right's stranglehold on the base of the republican party. we were talking a little bit on the break how it's become almost an evangelical mean that you must not believe in climate change. they've evangelized this because you've married the religious right to the corporate right in
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a way that is unseemly if you're a religious person but that has gotten the base of the republican party which informs their politicians. they are not permitted in a lot of ways to believe or accept the idea of climate change as a matter of faith. now you've been calling a terrarium xwlarks the right has finally seen wait a minute, baby our media isn't being honest with us about polls and things like that. this might be an opportunity to start to get at the base of the republican party. there is an almost religious -- as a matter of faith, they don't believe in climate change. >> several things are the case here. number one, bill is entirely right. mother nature is going to hit us over the head repeatedly. we'll see more and more tremendous storms, more and more huge wildfires, droughts, and so forth. and the information is going to get out there that this is related to global warming. number one. number two, you have this tremendous interest in the status quo. these huge companies that have
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tremendous resources and money and can control politics through money, regions of the country, you know, working people depend on coal and oil and so forth. you probably have to do two things simultaneously. one is do what you candy vesment to demonize to point out bad things. the other thing is bribery. you probably. >> says the congressman. >> yeah, well, you probably have to show both people in west virginia and appalachia and louisiana and companies how you can continue to be employed on changing things. how we can -- we should have programs, we used to talk about military conversion. we should have programs to say take -- mr. oil company, take your resources and get into wind, get into something else. and employ these people in west virginia. >> the really good news the last couple weeks has been coming not
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out of the united states, but coming out of europe. the german energy minister in the conservative government of angela merkel said last week, we're going to scream past our targets of renewable energy and be at 50% renewable energy by 2020 or 2022. we may be at 66%. it's coming. there were days this summer when germany generated more than half the power it used from solar panels within its borders. this is germany. munich's north of montreal. they don't have texas, california, nevada, arizona. >> the biggest immediate battle which is not getting the attention it should, in fact, it's getting very little attention is part of this whole fiscal mess coming up is the existing tax credits for renewables expire. and you see republican senators saying above all else, don't renew them. >> i think that position though, congressman, it has to break. you see more and more republican governors from red states. >> we have to insist on that. that's the most immediate thing.
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>> one big question i think is when you get on a path, if there's going to be a sort of virtuous cycle that can be kicked in with renewables in which things start to beat their expectations and i want to hear about what that future might look like after this break. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare...
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here's an international energy agency report about emissions. and this is the conversation you hear. there's this kind of stages of denial, this kind of like stages of climate denial and it's like well, no, the earth isn't warming. well it's warming. well it's not humans. it is humans. if we do do something about it then china and india aren't going to do something about it and it's a wash. this is the iea report, global demand energy grows by more than one-third over the period 2035. people will say look, even if we get our house in order, and i hear this all the time from people not in the denialist
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camp. you joy had a question during the break. >> we're talking about what's happening in germany and there's advancements here in america as well as europe. what about china? if china is the big sort of elephant in the room in terms of emissions what, are they doing? >> i did a big piece for the national agree geographic on china and energy. it's incredibly complicated. china is burning a lot of coal. they'll never catch up with us but they're putting a lot of carbon out in the atmosphere. at the same time, they're leading the world in the installation of renewable technology. 250 million chinese when they take a shower at night, the hot water comes off the roof. that's 25% of that population. in this country, solar hot water accounts for less than 1% of our homes and most of that is for swimming pools. here's the thing. if you go to the guy who runs the biggest of these solar hot water companies, huong min, in his private museum -- the pride of place goes to an old rusting
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solar panel. do you know what that is? no. that's my best possession. that was one of the solar panels that jimmy carter put on the white house in 1979 and ronald reagan took down in 1985 because he wanted manlier forms of energy. it's not that we lack -- germ and china have better technology. >> that and put it in his private museum in china? i love that story. >> we have the technology. we have the entrepreneurs. we just don't have the political will to do anything with it because we've got the koch brothers and exxon and everybody else in the way. >> we also have a reflexive ideological resistance to government playing a big role. i actually talked to mitt romney's policy director a few weeks before the election. i asked him, you know, what do you think government can do to make coal cleaner, carbon capturing sequestration by doesn't exist on a usable scale. he said i don't think government should play a role at all. there you go.
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there's the barrier. >> government should play no role except tonight provide massive subsidies to the fossil fuel industry decade after decade. >> can the subsidy for cleaner coal. >> this is where the tax extenders issue which i think it brings us nicely full circle because we started out talking about the fiscal curve. the issue has gotten very much lost, right, when you stack up the issues it's down at the bottom. whether you pass all the taxes or not defines the baseline that you then calculate your savings on. it matters a tremendous amount. in those tax extenders are these renewable energy tax credits. the problem is that they're constantly sunsetting. i know people ho work in solar and you say i want to raise capital investment on a program that will have this rate of return on investment if and only if the tax cuts get extended. they sunset every seven days or whatever the heck they are. it's like every year. so when you can't build in any long-term projection, this hurts
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investment, right? >> absolutely. and we ought to -- when we extend that, we ought to extend it for a good long period of time. >> that's my point. >> what is the length of the various subsidies for coal and oil? but they're not annual. >> they're part of the tax code. they're not specific provisions that are part of extender nz. they're basically the depletion allowance. it's just part of the irs code. >> when you try to have this conversation with republicans, they yell solyndra and they walk away. >> i want to put in a plug on this. you rarely hear a bipartisan bill in energy. ted poe, a republican from texas is sponsoring a bill that would allow companies to have access to a master limited partnership. this is the way you structure a company but renewables don't get to it. it can be built into the law to allow them to raise easier capital. ted poe, republican from texas. you don't hear about these smaller bills. >> that's fascinating. bill mckiben, people can find
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where 350.org do the math tour is going to be at the website. >> math.350.org. i'll say this. it's been really exciting. sort of a new moment. look, the environmental movement went dormant for a while. but starting with keystone and now people are really waking up. they're understanding that this is the question of a lifetime. >> so what do we know we didn't know last week? my answers after this. for chri? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery.
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♪ so what do we know now we didn't know last week? that democrats cannot count on new york's supposedly ra democratic governor andrew cuomo as an ally. every democratic primary voter in the entire country should know that, too. we already knew in the run-up to the election, andrew cuomo whose aspirations for national office are well-known did essentially nothing to aid the party in its
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quest to steak back the state senate from republicanz. while his reason for not endorsing democrats in contested races with republican alphabets was he did not want to wound those republicans who voted for the successful marriage equality. that the explanation doesn't address his refusal to endorse the democratic candidate in one race where the incumbent republican had been defeated in the primary by a tea party challenger. we know we never got an explanation from him for his lack of endorsement in that race and even without his help, democrats managed to win an apparent majority in the state senate with the two seats still being recounted. just as it looked like democrats would win back the senate majority, sin cough felder brooklyn democrat elected as a democrat announced just a few days after he ran and run as a democrat that he would caucus with the republicans putting the republicans just one seat away from a majority pending the outcome of those two unresolved races. despite the facts he's the leader of the democratic party in the state and wishes some day to be the nominee for president
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it, he has refused to intervene with felder saying he won't insert himself into the controversy. watching this unfold, one can't help suspect that abdrew cuomo actually does not want a democratic majority in the state senate because a republican majority gives him more of an opportunity to burnish his bipartisan compromise or bone nan fides before launching his presidential campaign and much, much more insidiously, we suspect he doesn't want a democratic majority because it stands ready to past a whole rost of ground breaking progressive legislation including public financing for electionses, maish decriminaliation and a minimum wage hike among others. the governor says he favors all those policies but in this case he sure is not tacting like it. we are almost entirely sure that very soon andrew cuomo will be coming before many of the people watching this show asking for your support in a democratic primary race to be the next president. you should remember this remarkably cynical display when he does. governor cuomo's office did not respond to our request for comment on some of the specifics
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we just discussed but we invite the governor to come on anytime. i want to find out what my guests now know when didn't know when the week began. mr. kiben? >> the thing that's become very clear since the election is that we're really going to find out now when it comes to energy and climate what the president is all about. he no longer has to worry about ever again about the fossil fuel industry coming down on him in election. we're going to have really stark pure tests like keystone where he'll get to find out whether or not he's thinking about the future or not. >> oh, i'm sure. >> the army corps of engineers we knocked them for being anti-environment and for good reason but what blew my mind, after hurricane sandy, the arm corps sent hydrologic specialists to new york. they removed enough water from our subway system to fill central park two feet above the ground. >> "the new york times" did this amazing piece, one of these
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pieces you read as a journalist, you're like i wish i had of could have written that piece. they did a piece about how the tunnels in new york got drained and how the mta got the subway system got back working in a miraculous fashion. you had even the strap hangers campaign this group that beat up on the ta all the time. trying to get better service for folks saying this is close to magic what's happened. it's a good reminder in the climate discussion, we are capable of amazing things. we are capable of amazing things. and the new york city subway system is a miracle of sixization. >> don't forget for a minute that there are still people out in the rockaways and on the jersey shore and one of the great things that happened this week is that the occupy movement turned into a kind of relief movement and occupy sandy has been doing remarkable stuff. >> congressman nadler. >> well, we were reminded of one thing that we knew which is the utter hypocrisy of the u.n. and the nonaligned movement when it comes to israel and the middle east that said nothing when
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hamas fired over 500 or 600 missiles at israeli civilians, each missile being a war crime. and when israel finallien hit back by attacking a leader of the militants and started attacking launch sites, suddenly there's a u.n. security council meeting and the nonaligned movement condemns israel. we also learned that despite the ravings of governor romney about obama throwing israel under the bus and the ravings of the republican jewish coalition and other elements of the jewish community, when push comes to shove, the obama administration stood by israel. >> we'll discuss gaza tomorrow. there's been asymmetry in the moral intent has been to go after civilians stated aim of the idf is to avoid civilians. in the actual death toll, we're seeing more civilian lives in gaza dead than israelis. i want to make sure people are
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aware of that. we'll talk about this much more tomorrow, joy. >> we now know that the beltway sort of means that there was a lack of african-american enthusiasm to re-elect the president was a myth. african-americans voted in the same or larger numbers in '08 in almost every one of the key swing states. we also know of this week that of the destructive dangerous technology tied to the exattractive energies are actually built in african-american communities. the community is very energized to continue its activism into the second temple. i think the african-american community, especially black churches should be brought into the movement on climate change. >> my thanks to bill mckibben, elana schor, joy reid. thank you for getting up and join us tomorrow sunday morning. we'll take on the petraeus scandal with the author of the generals and we'll be talking about gaza. coming up next, ma lis ha harris-perry. why does abe lincoln
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suddenly seem to be from we look. melissa harris-perry coming up next. we'll see you here tomorrow at 8:00. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios
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